Viennese trichord

In music theory, a Viennese trichord (also Viennese fourth chord and tritone-fourth chord[2]), named for the Second Viennese School, is a pitch set with prime form (0,1,6). Its Forte number is 3-5. The sets C–D–G and C–F–G are both examples of Viennese trichords, though they may be voiced in many ways.

Viennese trichord
Component intervals from root
minor second
Forte no. / Complement
3-5 / 9-5
Interval vector

According to Henry Martin, "[c]omposers such as Webern ... are partial to 016 trichords, given their 'more dissonant' inclusion of ics 1 and 6."[3]

In jazz and popular music, the chord usually has a dominant function, being the third, seventh, and added sixth/thirteenth of a dominant chord with elided root[4] (and fifth, see jazz chord).


  1. Paddison, Max and Deliège, Irène (2010). Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives, p.62. ISBN 9781409404163.
  2. DeLone, et al (1975). Aspects of 20th Century Music, p.348. ISBN 0-13-049346-5.
  3. Martin, Henry (Winter, 2000). "Seven Steps to Heaven: A Species Approach to Twentieth-Century Analysis and Composition", p.149, Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 129-168.
  4. Forte, Allen (2000). "Harmonic Relations: American Popular Harmonies (1925-1950) and Their European Kin", pp. 5-36, Traditions, Institutions, and American Popular Music (Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 19, Part 1), p. 7. Routledge. Covach, John and Everett, Walter; eds. ISBN 90-5755-120-9.
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